I’m sure you’ve heard this: everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.
Here’s a way to let your Mac’s Dashboard Widgets become your weather center. Warning: Freeware Widgets come at a price.
I have a handful of Widgets which do exactly what I want from them. They’re quicky and easy utilities that do not and should not require a full blown Mac application.
For example, check Apple’s Stock Widget. If you’re deeply into minute-by-minute stock checks, you won’t like this Widget.
For me, it works great. I just move my mouse pointer to the upper right corner, which invokes the Dashboard and my select few Widgets appear. In one glance I can check a dozen stocks and the general condition of the market.
Quick, easy, somewhat accurate, little effort, the price is right.
How about weather? Though there’s not much you can do about it, it’s nice to know what’s happening where you are or where you’ll be soon.
Apple’s Dashboard Weather Widget gives a graphical view of current conditions, and a forecast for a week, including high and low temperatures. I open four or five instances of the Weather Widget to check on different locations.
What’s the effort? None. I move that mouse pointer to the upper right hand corner and… wooooosh. Weather appears.
One of the more popular widgets for weather, as opposed to the Official Weather Widget, is NOAA Weather Center. Yes, it’s another way to view the same weather, but more information is available.
NOAA Weather Center is a Dashboard Widget which requires effort to use. Personally, there should be some kind of law which states that Widgets should not require effort to use, but to each his own, different strokes, etc.
The NOAA logo is surrounded by four buttons in each of the Widget’s four corners—Forecast, Current Conditions, Radar, Alerts. To see the details for each, you have to click the button.
A little swirling animation takes place and the information slowly, very slowly, begins to display in the center of the Widget. Need the forecast? Click, and wait, then read.
Want to look at another of the weather information buttons? Guess what? There’s yet another button that you have to click to view the other buttons, which you have to click again before you can view Radar, Alerts, or whatever.
That’s just wrong. There’s too many clicks and too much time invested in the effort for what amounts to a nominal increase in weather information.
OS X’s Dashboard is the perfect vehicle for delivering weather information. It’s always there, it’s easy to retrieve, but if you want more than the basics, then you’re into the mouse gymnasium of 24-Hour Clickness.
Next to Apple’s Weather Widget I keep The Weather Channel’s radar widget running so I don’t have to interact via mouse and finger. My use of Widgets remains all visual, the way God intended.
If there’s a need for more detailed information about the weather, current, historical, alerts or whatever, then a standalone Mac application is a better solution than a Widget which requires seven clicks to divulge information that should be on a single screen.